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Thursday 18 January 2018

John Giles: Jack Grealish should be starting for Ireland against Scotland

Jack Grealish in action for the Republic of Ireland under-21s Newsdesk Newsdesk

Martin O'Neill feels he is not ready, but John Giles says Jack Grealish should be in the starting XI when Scotland visit Dublin on June 13.

Grealish has been the subject of intense speculation all week following his impressive performance for Aston Villa in their FA Cup semi-final win over Liverpool last Sunday.

While he has represented Ireland from U-15 to U-21 level, England are still hopeful of talking the the 19-year-old into representing the land of his birth at senior level and the subject will not be closed until he makes a competitive senior appearance.

And Giles says O'Neill should make that happen against the Scots and not just because it will mean his future in the green is secured, but because he deserves a place in the starting XI.

"I wouldn't hang about with this lad at all. I'd get him in if I could straight away and I would put him in a competitive match, not just to qualify him," said Giles on Newstalk's Off The Ball Show.

"If I was picking a team for the Scotland match, I'd have Grealish in the team from what I've seen of him."

Giles' comments echo those of fellow pundit Eamon Dunphy, who yesterday called for moves to be made to secure the international future of Grealish.

"Roy Keane made a cutting remark about Grealish's father a couple of months ago, which is really dumb, and Martin O’Neill talked about the Scotland game being too big for him and didn’t seem too keen on him there on Thursday or Friday [last week]," said Dunphy on 2FM's Game On show.

"We need to be respectful of him and his family. They [the Ireland management] haven’t been and it’s ugly to watch.”

“We’re really making a really stupid mistake. He’s going to be a really top class player; he is now.

“He’s a very a very good young player and we need him.

“The fans deserve people responsible for decisions to be making good decisions. He should be in the Ireland squad for the Scotland game and he’s a contender to play. He played really well the other day."

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